With a rising influx of visitors to Goa, including celebrities like Deepika Padukone, you’d believe the seaside state is back to business. But COVID-19 numbers are on the rise here, and the picnic is not on. In fact, being a Goa resident, I urge restraint. This is a small state with fewer medical facilities compared to others. We’re reeling for a harsh, thoughtless lockdown over summer. A pandemic is not a sensitive time to go on that Goa break. By Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
Having spent up to five months on the road each year, I’ve established a unique coping mechanism for the pandemic life in rural Goa. I discovered the finest energy healers in Goa. I meditated, chanted, and edited my new book, Loss — my first work of non-fiction. The book is a collection of essays on death and the ways out of grief.
What counters the privilege of treatment during the worst economic crisis India has ever known is the support for world-class local talent. Here are three healers in Goa who I’ve worked with closely.
1. Rufus Remedios
Rufus has the presence of a sage. You instantly feel reassured and consoled in his company. Trained in yoga, and formerly a therapist with the Taj Group, his reflexology and massage treatments restored my focus on writing. It was easy to slide into depression. I live alone, away from family, so my isolation was as instructive as it was unsettling. But Remedios’ therapies over months of lockdown were profound and invaluable. He calmed my anxieties, centred my thoughts, and restored me to balance. During the pandemic, Remedios was like a great shaman who appeared out of the forest to lead me from one place to the next. He is magical and matchless.
You can connect with him on +918390708906
2. Josef Wirsching
A half-Indian and half-German therapist, he is an erudite healer. His treatments are casually broken up with astute digressions on Vedic texts. Other than being a walking library, Wirsching is trained in martial arts by martial arts teachers in rural Kerala and mentored by vaids. During one meditation class based on Japanese traditions, he drew my consciousness over every single source of sound around me. This reminded me that although I was alone, there was the rustle of breeze and birdsong with me. Everything in the universe connives to remind us we are not alone, and Wirsching’s treatments shifted my perspective from despair to gratitude.
You can connect with him on +91 8007384275
3. Alex Shantidas
As the monsoon began its retreat, I had a nasty bout of cold and instantly thought I had the dreaded bug. After getting tested at Ace Diagnostic Center by a wonderful and sensitive lab technician Shanth, my COVID-19 test result came out to be negative. Following this unnerving episode, I turned to Alex who practices Usui Shiki Ryoho reiki for which he trained in Dharamshala for two years. His powerful reiki is deepened with the use of Solfeggio tuning forks. According to me, sound frequencies heal but also reaffirm intention. A trained yoga teacher from the Sivananda school in Rishikesh, Shantidas’ calm, discreet manner helped me tune in to the energy source at the core of my being.
You can connect with him on +43 69918190700